How a Car Dealership can sell more Cars on Facebook
Branding Personality and Honda Cars of Corona teamed up to attract a larger audience on Facebook and sell more cars through Facebook. They had been taking care of their Facebook page with some success but were ready to take it to the next level. For Car Dealer Consultants Branding Personality works closely with Kathi Kruse, she is a social media consultant for auto dealerships, and is our partner in communication, training and consulting with the client. She makes sure the clients understand what social media can do, and trains the employees to strengthen the effects we can accomplish together on social media.
So, how did we go about it? On March 30th we started when the page had about 300 likes.
1. We created a Lead Generating Landing Page on Facebook.
This is foremost to make sure that if we generate traffic to Facebook, we give the opportunity to people visiting the page to request a test drive of a Honda. This is the end of the funnel, and we want to make sure that is set up correctly, so we can attract targeted traffic. If we get traffic in to the funnel, it will result in test drives to be requested either by filling out the form or calling the phone number.
2. Get traffic to your Facebook Fan Page with Facebook Advertising
Then it’s time to drive traffic into the funnel. Facebook Advertising gives the opportunity to tap into the larger Facebook community, and Facebook Ads also offers ways to target specific demographics, locations and user interests to make sure the right people are seeing your ads.
3. Make sure people click on your ad
Write clearly and have a compelling benefit in your ad so that people want to click on your ad to find out more. Be wary that people have a lot more things to look at on your Facebook Page than just your ad, so make sure it’s clear, it entices and it wants people to take action.
4. Make sure people enter the form on your Lead Generation Landing Page on Facebook
For Honda Cars of Corona we gave away a $500 gas card to one of the people liking the Facebook Fan Page.
But the way to go about it is something you have to be careful of. Facebook has strict guidelines and you are not allowed to accumulate entries for a contest on Facebook by using Facebook itself (the wall, the like button, a comment, etc). Instead you need to use a third party app. For a better understanding of the Facebook Promotional Guidelines, Mari Smith wrote a great and very thorough explanation on Facebook Contest & Promotions.
The way we accumulate entries with Honda Cars of Corona, is to make it part of the lead generation form. As you see on the right, underneath the form is a check box so people can click to check to win the $500 gas card and at the same time request a test drive if they want to experience the car. This is the way for Honda Cars of Corona to legally acquire entries for the contest.
I get many questions about other Facebook Pages that ask to Like a Page or write a post on the wall to qualify to enter, this is against Facebook’s Promotional guidelines, and you risk your Facebook Page being shut down without warning. So, don’t take the risk, find a solution that works within the guidelines of Facebook, or contact us and we’ll help you get started.
5. Attract audience at related forums and Facebook Pages.
To generate more awareness about your Page and the offer (perhaps the contest) that you are doing. Reach out to communities on Facebook that are related to your Page. Good examples might be: the city where your business is located, communities where a lot of your clients participate, or communities where a similar audience like your current audience participates on the topics that you are offering. I won’t go into specific examples for what we have done for Honda Cars of Corona, but I will say that you want to take a look at contest prizes that already have a hungry audience, with an active community on Facebook. Facebook Pages or Groups are great places to get the buzz going.
6. Write fresh content, 5 times a week, twice a day.
I am not saying, Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm. You have to try and test different times and different days in the beginning to see what works. Check which day/time slots generate the least response, eliminate that and start posting on a different day. For Honda Cars of Corona they are posting Saturdays and Sundays, as that are the days when people are looking around for a new car. Social Media is not a Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm job.
7. Engage with your audience
Engage with your audience by awarding the people that take the time to write a reply. Or sometimes even acknowledging the people that Like a post. A post comes to live if people reply and the same goes the other way around. It’s great if someone acknowledges and replies to your comment. It leaves a good impression and motivates people to come back another time and reply again. We need commenters and likers to build the community. And most important: The Conversion is in the Conversation.
8. Be authentic, be real, be personable
All in all be human. Talk like a normal person and be accepting of everyone.
Results of the campaign thus far:
People joined the Page by clicking “Like” when visiting the Facebook Page and enter the sweepstakes via the gas card tab; and sign up for a test drive while at it. The winner was drawn at random when the page reached 1,000 likes.
Surprisingly, we ended the sweepstakes a week earlier than anticipated because of the overwhelming response! We reached Honda’s goal of 1,000 likes in less than a week and are currently at over 2,000 likes and growing. Honda Cars of Corona received 50 leads in the first Month of their campaign, of which 5 were highly likely to buy a car in the short term. A great start in the first month.
Although we didn’t want the number of Likes to be a focus, it is what most of our customers want when they come to us. They think it’s all about the number of Likes. And it’s not. It’s about the engagement and interaction, and the like-ability that this client will turn into a customer some time down the line (or refer us to a customer, because they like the people in the company).
How to engage?
Branding Personality creates content to engage the audience and be authentic. The goal is to be more than a marketing initiative and treat prospective and current customers with the wisdom, entertainment and dedication that they deserve. Think outside of the box, have genuine interest in your audience, and offer them more beyond a view of your Page. After the success, Honda has decided to give away another $500 gas card to a lucky winner at 2,500 likes! (They have reached 2,500 fans as of May 7th, 2011).